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I haven't heard that song in years, and just realised it really has nothing to do with WrestleMania whatsoever.

ANYWAY.

WrestleMania XL this year. That doesn't make me feel old AT ALL.

As it's a biggy, I thought we could share all our favourite WrestleMania memories and all that jazz.

I'll add mine at some point but here's some starters for everyone:

  • First WrestleMania watched?
  • Favourite WrestleMania?
  • Have you ever been to WrestleMania?
  • Best/Worst WrestleMania matches.
  • Best/Worst WrestleMania moments.
  • Favourite WrestleMania theme and/or intro?
  • Favourite WrestleMania announcer call? ("The boyhood dream has come true" etc etc)

And anything else worth sharing.

And here's some random (because search is shit) historic UKFF WrestleMania topics in case you fancy reminiscing:

https://ukff.com/topic/42717-wrestlemania-xx-thoughtsdiscussion-thread/

https://ukff.com/topic/129489-wwe-wrestlemania-xxviii-discussion-thread/

https://ukff.com/topic/132552-official-wrestlemania-29-discussion-thread-spoilers/

https://ukff.com/topic/135806-wrestlemania-xxxi-discussion-thread-spoilers/

https://ukff.com/topic/141606-wrestlemania-37-april-10th-11th/

https://ukff.com/topic/142407-wrestlemania-38-a-stupendous-weekend-in-dallas/

https://ukff.com/topic/143466-wrestlemania-39/

 

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First Wrestlemania - 14 - For some reason chose this on DVD with some Woolworths gift vouchers I got for Xmas. I wasn’t a big fan at this point, but Rock/Austin fighting was a big enough deal that even then I knew it was a must watch. Didn’t know much of what else was going on on the undercard, but it was enough to entice me to get further into wrestling.

Favourite Wrestlemania - 17 - Nothing I say about this that hasn’t already been said. I apologise for the boring answer but the conversation goes no further for me.  A close second as it was my first I attended was 33 however.

Ever been? - 33 & 35 - Everything from 33 and 35 match and card wise was excellent. The set for 33 was my favourite ever. 35 left a bad taste due to the bloody train ride disaster home, that anyone that went will know of, and will one day have its own episode or Dark Side of The Ring I’m sure.

Best/Worst moment - I think anything will struggle to top the feel good factor of the ending of WM30. The Hardyz return, being in attendance, with grown men hugging each other with elation, is also up there. Being at a watch part in Shepherds Bush where barely anybody was paying attention to Lesnar/Taker as it was a foregone conclusion who was winning, when the result happened and a confused atmosphere fell over the bar, was fun to be a part of. Worst? Probably the good feelings of 20 being dampened by what came later.

Favourite theme - 17 - Easily, the theme overall, and the package it accompanied for the main event just fit so perfectly.

Could add favourite set to the list of questions too, as even when the sets have maybe taken a step back in recent years, Mania has always had an effort made.

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59 minutes ago, DavidB6937 said:

Best WrestleMania matches.

Absolutely has to be Bret Hart vs Steve Austin at 13.

I watch it every year on its anniversary and I STILL find new things I haven't picked up on, which is mad.

A lot has been written about it, and better than I can, but everyone plays a blinder, including the comms team which adds to its status. Not really a fan of any of them, but they are on top form there, and contribute another layer to it.

"Hit that drunk in the jacket"

It's the match that I would show people who've never seen wrestling to explain just how good it can be. Its genuinely art, and I actually get emotional just thinking about it. I love it. 

You have Bret, Austin, the story before, the intro video (which is incredible), the crowd are hot, the comms, Shamrock, the blood, the turn, the aftermath, and of course the action in and out of the ring. Its fucking magic.

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First of all I'm really disappointed after WrestleMania: Play Button that WrestleMania: Bell hasn't gained traction yet. Anyway, in the interest of a quiet Friday eve let me talk to 'ya:

  • First WrestleMania watched?

XV. I still maintain that if you were a child who was into whatever the Attitude Era threw at you at the time then it was an exciting show. Pure dross, in reality, of course. I got it on the Silvervision in 2000. I got into wrestling that year, but it was after WrestleMania 2000. I was 9 at the time and in my only moment of "I know all the rest of that stuff is fake, but fuck -" that I can really recall, the video package detailing the Ministry vs. the Corporation before the Bossman/'Taker cell match genuinely scared the shit out of me and convinced me Undertaker was genuinely evil for a few days.

The first WrestleMania I ever watched live was X-8 and I blew it. Burned through all my excitement that night, sugar crashed, fell asleep during DDP/Christian and woke up just as Rock and Hogan were suddenly best mates in the ring, with the latter out of nowhere now the most popular wrestler on the planet again. 

  • Favourite WrestleMania?

It has to be X-Seven. It's the only realistic answer for a 'Mania I'd take to a desert island. I find most of the New Gen/Attitude Era ones immensely watchable but the overall quality isn't there, and for the newer ones that actually are good they still feel like giant undertakings that give you a migraine with all the lights and graphics before long. 

  • Have you ever been to WrestleMania?

No and I don't think I ever will. I've long consigned myself to the fact that I don't like wrestling live. Honestly, without commentary and just hearing the mic under the ring boom out every little movement way too much I think it's kind of shit. Being way back in an enormo-dome holds no appeal to me either. I enjoy watching wrestling more than ever in a way now, but I'm happy to have it be something I do in private. 

  • Best/Worst WrestleMania matches.

It's still Bret/Austin and TLC II for me. My favourite gutsy, 'realistic', violent storyline match ever and my favourite spectacle, show-it-to-your-friends match ever. They both piss enormously on any of these self-aware 'epics' HBK brought into fashion in his second run. 

I'm not going to name silly undercard matches nobody remembers for worst matches. It's going to have to be those Triple H slogs, isn't it? The Roman match, the Big Dave match at 35, even the Lesnar match. He's had some overlong stinkers at the big one towards the end of his career. 

  • Best/Worst WrestleMania moments.

WrestleMania XXX is full of moments. The opening promo between Rock/Austin/Hogan, Cesaro seemingly getting made in the Andre battle royal, the fucking streak ending! I was in the chat that night and it was just people typing 'FUCK' for about ten minutes. 

The My Way package of course. Shawn proving he was back beyond a doubt with a vanilla match with Jericho. Just the whole feel of WrestleMania 14, knowing the business had changed for good. Sweet Zombie Linda (she played a blinder!) 

Worst? Probably the endings to some of the modern 'Manias where it felt like a sort of groundhog day of "Fuck off, it's not getting hot again and we're not changing it for you". Cena beating Rock at 39. Reigns beating Triple H at 32. Just horrible, horrible vibes. The product was dead. 'Taker coming back from the dead looking like GM-grown Shakespears Sister whilst people behind the curtain tried to stop a fire from spreading was pretty funny too. 

  • Favourite WrestleMania theme and/or intro?

I'll go for a forgotten one here, 22 with the "Let me introduce you to the characters" package that contrasted the wrestlers then and now. There's been loads of them though.

In terms of bad, 14 cracks me up. The shitty DX cover of the Star-Spangled Banner ("Oh say can you see").

  • Favourite WrestleMania announcer call? ("The boyhood dream has come true" etc etc)

Gonna cheat on this: Heyman and JR. The entire night. The best show ever had the best commentary track ever. I could probably listen to it in isolation. 

 

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After the WWE Network randomly renewed two months after I cancelled it without my permission, I started watching old Manias during work and one thing I have came to realise is how bad the 20-23 ones are. I have great memories of watching them at the time, especially 20, but in hindsight most of it is either shite or tainted.

20 has some really awful throwaway tags on it where the likes of Garrison Cade and The Bashams are getting a pay day, Lesnar vs Goldberg is worse than I remember, Molly Holly has to shave her head to get the women's belt on the card, and the main event and following championship embrace to close the show is rough to go back to.

21 is much better but has stinkers on it like Trish vs Hemme and Akebono vs Big Show. The Cena and Batista eras beginning are important in the grand scheme of things but both of those matches had me snoozing. I did enjoy Michaels vs Angle a lot, and Money in The Bank still holds up.

22 has the MITB, Edge vs Foley and HBK vs Vince to prop it up but everything else on the card ranges from average to absolutely shocking. Boogeyman, a Mark Henry casket match, and a Playboy Pillow Fight stink the place up and Cena vs HHH going 20 minutes is a bad bad finish. The way the crowd has turned on Cena in the space of a year is fascinating though, they were up his arse when he was against JBL the year before.

23 may very well be one of the worst Wrestlemanias, period. MITB is ok but at this stage is already wearing thin, and Cena vs Michaels is decent. Undertaker and Batista I remember enjoying at the time but maybe we're spoiled with what we have now and what we know at least Undertaker could do at Mania, because I couldn't get on with it this time. The rest of this card though, fucking hell.  Khali vs Kane, ECW Originals, Donald Trump. It's bad. Melina vs Ashley Massaro goes less than 4 minutes in the semi-main, which isn't even long enough to actually go take a piss break.

Looking at that card for 24 as well doesn't fill me with enthusiasm.

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As the wife is off out with her school mum friends, I've been super cool and watched WrestleMania 1 for the first time. I think 4 was my first - double tape from Silvervision of course - and I've never bothered sitting through the first 3 in full.

It's obviously a bit shit when you watch it now but it's intriguing from a historical perspective for sure.

Won't do a review but some random thoughts:

I did not expect to see Mean Gene singing the National Anthem. Fair play to him.

Seeing Fink looking youthful is very confusing.

Jesse calling Gorilla Gino is very odd to my ears.

Was Lord Alfred Hayes always that shit? He didn't have a clue what he was saying or where to look.

I love Iron Sheik. I do not love Nikolai Volkoff.

I think that might be the first time I've seen Mike Rotunda as a face. Maybe I forgot but it was odd. Barry Windham though. What a guy.

I love managers. So underrated these days compared to back then.

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1 hour ago, DavidB6937 said:

I haven't heard that song in years, and just realised it really has nothing to do with WrestleMania whatsoever

 

Always thought Slam Jam was far superior personally 😉 

I remember picking the cassette up from the local Asda for £1.29

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4 minutes ago, FLips said:

After the WWE Network randomly renewed two months after I cancelled it without my permission, I started watching old Manias during work and one thing I have came to realise is how bad the 20-23 ones are. I have great memories of watching them at the time, especially 20, but in hindsight most of it is either shite or tainted.

20 has some really awful throwaway tags on it where the likes of Garrison Cade and The Bashams are getting a pay day, Lesnar vs Goldberg is worse than I remember, Molly Holly has to shave her head to get the women's belt on the card, and the main event and following championship embrace to close the show is rough to go back to.

21 is much better but has stinkers on it like Trish vs Hemme and Akebono vs Big Show. The Cena and Batista eras beginning are important in the grand scheme of things but both of those matches had me snoozing. I did enjoy Michaels vs Angle a lot, and Money in The Bank still holds up.

22 has the MITB, Edge vs Foley and HBK vs Vince to prop it up but everything else on the card ranges from average to absolutely shocking. Boogeyman, a Mark Henry casket match, and a Playboy Pillow Fight stink the place up and Cena vs HHH going 20 minutes is a bad bad finish. The way the crowd has turned on Cena in the space of a year is fascinating though, they were up his arse when he was against JBL the year before.

23 may very well be one of the worst Wrestlemanias, period. MITB is ok but at this stage is already wearing thin, and Cena vs Michaels is decent. Undertaker and Batista I remember enjoying at the time but maybe we're spoiled with what we have now and what we know at least Undertaker could do at Mania, because I couldn't get on with it this time. The rest of this card though, fucking hell.  Khali vs Kane, ECW Originals, Donald Trump. It's bad. Melina vs Ashley Massaro goes less than 4 minutes in the semi-main, which isn't even long enough to actually go take a piss break.

Looking at that card for 24 as well doesn't fill me with enthusiasm.

Yeah this is spot on. The Ruthless Aggression era WrestleManias are awful to watch back. 

It's come in for some expected rose-tinted nostalgia, and I've been guilty of it myself, but it was an awful few years in hindsight. The real low down, tawdry "Recapture the Attitude" moments they reached for every few months were all in far worse taste than most of the Attitude Era itself, only now completely ripped from any sort of finger-on-the-pulse context. 

Orton, Batista and Cena all got the push yeah but none of them were booked nearly as well as they could have been. It's a miracle all three are such big, respected stars in their own way now. Countless guys either underperformed (Carlito) or didn't get invested in enough (Benjamin). The period of generic big guys like Luther Reigns and Heidenreich. That era of Smackdown where they went 80s SNME vibe and had Tatanka, Road Warrior Animal, shit like Simon Dean. Awful. 

But yeah 23 in particular is a good shout for one of the worst WrestleManias ever. It done the worst thing a WrestleMania can do for me. It just felt cold. Nothing on it felt particularly celebratory or fun or properly remembering the past. 

24 is much better. 

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  • First WrestleMania watched?

My first Wrestlemania was also my first wrestling of any kind.   It was Wrestlemania 7, but it was probably at least 6 months after it had happened.   My 2 older brothers, who I did not live with, were visiting and they were in the lounge watching Wrestlemania 7.  I walked in.   Wondered what the flip they were watching and I've been a fan ever since.  They both dropped out of fandom within the next 2 years probably, if not sooner - donating to me all their magazines, tapes, toys, cards etc.

  • Favourite WrestleMania?

Tough question, because I have favourites for different reasons.   7 is a favourite for the reasons above.  Wrestlemania 4, despite being crap has a special place in my nostalgic brain as it was the first wrestling video I ever purchased.  Wrestlemania 17 is a clear favourite for obvious reasons though.

  • Have you ever been to WrestleMania?

Yes I have been to Wrestlemania 9 times and might be going this year, although if I do go it will only be to Night 1 this time.

Which brings me on to this quote from Matthew : "35 left a bad taste due to the bloody train ride disaster home, that anyone that went will know of"

I did go and I did get the train home, but the disaster did not affect me and I was very lucky it didn't.   I was on what I believe was the 2nd train to leave after the show finished.  It may have been the 2nd and last, or maybe there was 1 more, but I made it onto a train and was tucked up in my hotel room in Times Square while thousands of people were still stranded in the rain in New Jersey.   I remember when we got off the subway and began walking back to our hotels it just started raining and we realised how lucky we were that it hadn't been raining an hour earlier, not finding out until the next morning that half the stadium were still there at 2am, outside, in the rain with no way of getting back to NY.  I had no idea until the next morning and reading about it all how close we might have been to being stranded there too.

  • Best/Worst WrestleMania matches.

Triple H vs. Undertaker Hell in a Cell is the best Mania match I have seen live in person I would say.   But I love Austin vs. Rock from Mania 17, so much.   HBK vs. Flair has to be up there too.

  • Best/Worst WrestleMania moments.

Again from being there live, but the Hogan, Austin, Rock Mania 30 intro was amazing and I said during it that the show was already better than Mania 29.    Savage & Elizabeth reuniting at Mania 7 though.....lovely stuff.

 

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Reading through that Mania XX thread is a real trip. Handful of people posting who still post here but read very differently 20 years ago.

And people talking about Vince imminently giving up the reins (handing the company over to Shane, based on the opening video) and some confident statements that the handicap tag was gonna be Flair's last match. Only took nearly two decades for those two things to actually happen (sans Shane). 

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First WrestleMania watched? X-Seven - I’d got properly back into wrestling the previous summer, though I remember seeing the ‘McMahon In Every Corner’ VHS in Woolworths for most of late 2000. A friend at school who had Sky taped 2001’s show, I borrowed it, and it’s never been beaten.

Favourite WrestleMania? X-Seven - it’s got everything you could hope for from a WrestleMania.

Have you ever been to WrestleMania? Nope. I don’t think I ever will. It’d be fun but I don’t have a strong wish to fly all the way to America for the wrestling.

Best/Worst WrestleMania matches.

Best - Savage/Warrior at VII.

TLCII at X-Seven.

Undertaker/Triple H at XXVII.

By this pattern, 37 should have had a match I loved too. Belair vs Banks was pretty great I guess.

Worst matches - Bret/Vince at 26, Cole/Lawler at 27.

Best/Worst WrestleMania moments.

Best: Savage and Elizabeth reunite. The ladder spear and four-table bump in TLCII. Undertaker kicking out on 1 at 27. And so I don’t repeat myself anymore… The Streak ending at WM30.

Worst: Trump at 23. Maggot ring at 33. The run of main events where the crowd were either dead, annoyed or deflated by the result - 22, 32-35. 36 as a whole, I can’t say it’s ‘worst’ but it’d be the last WrestleMania I’d want to watch again.

The end of WMXX is both the best and worst.

Favourite WrestleMania theme and/or intro?

Repesting myself again, but it’s ’My Way’. Although I have a soft spot for ‘Big Time’.

Favourite WrestleMania announcer call? 

Anything from Bobby Heenan during the Savage/Elizabeth reunion. As has been mentioned, I could take the whole of X-Seven - JR/Heyman and Heenan/Okerlund.

”The streak… is over” is probably the peak of Cole’s PPV career.

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Warning - boring old man alert. I'm of an age and so my choices are somewhat vintage! 

 

First WrestleMania watched?

I think either 3 or 7. If 3 had been released by Silvervision by Spring '91 then it was that one, if not it was 7 borrowed off a mate at school.

  • Favourite WrestleMania?

8. Height of my fandom, height of the wrestling boom in the country. Fairly shit matches, but Piper vs Hart and Savage vs Flair made up for it. All about the spectacle though really. The Hoosier Dome looked cool, all the big name and colourful characters in attendance plus all the little extras. LOD interview introducing (well to a new audience) Paul Ellering, Lex Luger popping up, Shawn Michaels first proper PPV match in his new persona, return of the Warrior etc. Like I said, mainly crap matches, but oh boy to go back and watch it through innocent eyes with all the excitement and hype. 

  • Have you ever been to WrestleMania?

No - but I think I will (please bring it to the UK as I'm old and lazy) but I'm regularly in the US for work so would combine it. I think just the event though. All the Raw, HOF etc. may be overkill. I'll just settle for the buzz of the event itself.

  • Best/Worst WrestleMania matches

Favourites - Warrior vs Hogan, Steamboat vs Savage, Hogan vs Savage, Hart vs Piper, Savage vs Warrior, Austin vs Hart, Triple H vs Sting. 

Worst - too many to name

  • Best/Worst WrestleMania moments

Savage winning the title at 4, Warrior at 6, Demolition winning at 6. 

  • Favourite WrestleMania theme and/or intro?

Soft spot for 6. The stars in the galaxy etc. Vince sounding like a madman, drawings turn into Hogan and Warrior, big colour, that music hits and the classic logo flys in. Nostalgia! 

  • Favourite WrestleMania announcer call? ("The boyhood dream has come true" etc etc)

The Irrepresible Force meets the Immovable object from Gorilla at 3.

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First Mania - WM6 The Ultimate Challenge between the two biggest babyfaces of the time

Favourite Mania - 17, just the quintessential show 

Have you Been? - no not yet, it’s one of the last items on my bucket list 

Best/Worst Matches - best for me are Savage v Steamboat at 3, Bret v Owen at 10, TLC 2 at 17 and Michaels v Angle at 21

worst are the bulk of the WM4 card, Crush v Doink at 9 and Big Show v Akebono at 21

Best/Worst Moments - best moments, Bryan winning the big one at 30, the gimmick battle royal at 17 being a fun nostalgia trip, Kofi getting a long overdue shot at the big one at 35

worst moments, Hogan’s ego at 9 burying both Bret and Yokozuna, the ending to 20 consigned to the vault because of what happened 3 years later, Vince McRapist against Pat McAfee 2 years ago

Favorite Theme - for Nostalgia, the 6-8 one

Favorite Announcer Call - ‘I can’t believe Hogan would stoop to that level’ Ventura as Hulk helps Macho Man win the title at 4

’by the time he gets to the ring it’ll be WM38’ one of the last funny lines Bobby Heenan could make before cancer wrecked his voice, about Sheiky baby’s entrance at 17

’The miracle kid, the miracle kid, a miracle on Bourbon Street’ Michael Cole after Bryan had tapped out Batista at 30 to win the title

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First Wrestlemania - 17, I got into wrestling around 16 but didn't watch the PPV. I don't think there's much to be added on that topic not said already. 

Favourite WM - 24 Overlooked gem in my opinion. Good mix of matches with Edge/Taker being a cracking main event. Having the outdoor venue helped a lot as it was unique then

Worst WM - 25 and 26 simply as they werejust a long drawn match filed bores to me after how much fun I'd had watching the 08 show. 

Favourite match - I'll change my answer many times today in my head but some stand outs are Triple H/Undertaker at WM27 for the awesome entrances and brutal spectacle put on. I also realised the other day how much I enjoyed Angle and Rousy Vs Triple H and Steph especially considering Hunter had to keep those 3 in check for what we got. 

Worst WM match - Roman Reigns Vs Brock Lesnar at WM 34 just a pile of absolute bollocks with a stupid ending. Right when Lesnars 10 min sprints were getting very much into the overkill territory. 

Best/worst moment - worst has to be the streak ending so abruptly. Best Savage/Liz maybe.

Personal best moment was watching 28 with some mates, getting drunk and my friend deciding during the Brodus Clay dance off to actually call his Mama to be met with his asleep mother answering and stuttering through his explanation that Brodus clay told him too!

 

Best theme - My Way hands down although the closing packages from 20 to 24 had some belters too. 

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7 hours ago, simonworden said:

Best theme - My Way hands down although the closing packages from 20 to 24 had some belters too. 

Yes, I used to love the end-of-show video packages they’d do. 17 being the best one, of course. I feel like X-8 didn’t and that was one of the reasons I considered it so disappointing at the time.

Speaking of X-8, probably my favourite ever bit of wrestling merch I own is the commemorative magazine hyping up that show. The second half of the book was just photo pages of the entire roster - including my first glimpses of Brock Lesnar and Randy Orton - and the first half had two page recaps of every WrestleMania from 1-17 with photos and full match line ups. I’d never seen these early shows but I could have recited the major happenings and match order of most of them due to the number of times I read this mag. Made Mania feel so special and important.

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